Intro to fantasy football

Karthik PrasadSports1 Comment

Football stadium gets us in the mindset of fantasy football

Primer: Jumping in to Fantasy Football

It’s football season! If you caught our FB Live introduction to Skirt the Sideline, you know that we are very excited to start with Fantasy Football as the season kicks off in just under 2 weeks. Fantasy football is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, start to learn more about football, track the major players and teams in the season, and most importantly…talk smack to your opponents.

So if you’re thinking of joining your first office fantasy league or you’ve recently been convinced by friends to take the plunge, we are here to help. Below is a quick primer on how to get started in fantasy football – what it is, how it works, and why you should play. We ourselves had our first fantasy football draft of the season yesterday night and are excited about the season – check out our team below. One league started, three more to go :).

What is fantasy football?

Most fantasy football leagues will consist of you and 11 other friends managing your own teams. Your fantasy team is composed of players from across different real-life NFL teams – its up to you to draft the best players. Typically, your teams playing roster consists of the following spots:

  • 1 Quarterback
  • 2 Wide Receivers
  • 2 Running Backs
  • 1 Tight End
  • 1 RB or WR (called Flex player)
  • 1 Kicker
  • 1 Defense
  • Bench (3-5 players of your choice)

You draft for these positions in whats usually called a “snake draft”. People get randomly assigned a draft order and then snake from first pick to last pick and back from last pick to first pick. There are other, more complicated draft setups, but we will stick to the basics for now.

How do you win in fantasy football?

Each week, you go head-to-head with another friend from your league. That week, each of your team’s players is scored based on their real performance during their real games. For example, if I draft Tom Brady, his score will be based upon how many touchdowns he throws, and for how many yards he throws for (so, if you’ve been following “DeflateGate”, his score will be 0 for the first 4 weeks…ouch).

What’s at stake?

Typically, before the league starts, everyone will agree on a set dollar “buy-in”, which then gets pooled and divided back to the winners of the league. For a 12 team league, 4 teams will make the playoffs, and then play head-to-head in the semifinals and then the finals. The overall 1st place winner typically takes home the majority of the pooled money, with the runner-up getting his or her money back.

In our experience, winning fantasy football takes a good amount of preparation for the draft, constant working to improve your team, and a great deal of luck. We will have tips, tricks, and some relevant story lines related to fantasy as the season picks up.

Where to get started?

There are many great resources on the web – below are a two to help get you started:

  • Walter Football – an old-school website with great lists on players. a cheat sheet to orient you.
  • Yahoo and ESPN fantasy ranks – the two sites that host most of the fantasy leagues create their own content to help you get started.

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